2006 Code of Virginia § 19.2-81.3 - Arrest without a warrant authorized in cases of assault and battery against a family or household m...

19.2-81.3. Arrest without a warrant authorized in cases of assault andbattery against a family or household member and stalking and for violationsof protective orders; procedure, etc.

A. Any law-enforcement officer, as defined in 19.2-81, may arrest without awarrant for an alleged violation of 18.2-57.2, 18.2-60.4 or 16.1-253.2regardless of whether such violation was committed in his presence, if sucharrest is based on probable cause or upon personal observations or thereasonable complaint of a person who observed the alleged offense or uponpersonal investigation.

B. A law-enforcement officer having probable cause to believe that aviolation of 18.2-57.2 or 16.1-253.2 has occurred shall arrest and takeinto custody the person he has probable cause to believe, based on thetotality of the circumstances, was the predominant physical aggressor unlessthere are special circumstances which would dictate a course of action otherthan an arrest. The standards for determining who is the predominant physicalaggressor shall be based on the following considerations: (i) who was thefirst aggressor, (ii) the protection of the health and safety of family andhousehold members, (iii) prior complaints of family abuse by the allegedlyabusing person involving the family or household members, (iv) the relativeseverity of the injuries inflicted on persons involved in the incident, (v)whether any injuries were inflicted in self-defense, (vi) witness statements,and (vii) other observations.

C. Regardless of whether an arrest is made, the officer shall file a writtenreport with his department, which shall state whether any arrests were made,and if so, the number of arrests, specifically including any incident inwhich he has probable cause to believe family abuse has occurred, and, whererequired, including a complete statement in writing that there are specialcircumstances that would dictate a course of action other than an arrest. Theofficer shall provide the allegedly abused person, both orally and inwriting, information regarding the legal and community resources available tothe allegedly abused person. Upon request of the allegedly abused person, thedepartment shall make a summary of the report available to the allegedlyabused person.

D. In every case in which a law-enforcement officer makes an arrest underthis section, he shall petition for an emergency protective order asauthorized in 16.1-253.4 when the person arrested and taken into custody isbrought before the magistrate, except if the person arrested is a minor, apetition for an emergency protective order shall not be required. Regardlessof whether an arrest is made, if the officer has probable cause to believethat a danger of acts of family abuse exists, the law-enforcement officershall seek an emergency protective order under 16.1-253.4, except if thesuspected abuser is a minor, a petition for an emergency protective ordershall not be required.

E. A law-enforcement officer investigating any complaint of family abuse,including but not limited to assault and battery against a family orhousehold member shall, upon request, transport, or arrange for thetransportation of an abused person to a hospital, safe shelter, ormagistrate. Any local law-enforcement agency may adopt a policy requiring anofficer to transport or arrange for transportation of an abused person asprovided in this subsection.

F. The definition of "family or household member" in 16.1-228 applies tothis section.

G. As used in this section, a "law-enforcement officer" means (i) anyfull-time or part-time employee of a police department or sheriff's officewhich is part of or administered by the Commonwealth or any politicalsubdivision thereof and who is responsible for the prevention and detectionof crime and the enforcement of the penal, traffic or highway laws of thisCommonwealth and (ii) any member of an auxiliary police force establishedpursuant to subsection B of 15.2-1731. Part-time employees are compensatedofficers who are not full-time employees as defined by the employing policedepartment or sheriff's office.

(1991, c. 715; 1992, c. 886; 1995, cc. 413, 433; 1996, c. 866; 1997, c. 603;1998, c. 569; 1999, cc. 697, 721, 807; 2002, cc. 810, 818; 2004, c. 1016.)

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